Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Other Bob Morris

Here's my latest idea for a book: I'm gonna get in a car and spend a couple of months driving around the U.S., basing my itinerary on meeting other guys named Bob Morris. We'll hang out for awhile, have some laughs and then I'll be on my way, a journey of self-discovery based on discovering other people who have the same name as me. I'm gonna call this: THE BOBYSSEY. If nothing else, maybe the other Bob Morrises will actually buy it and that will pay for gas money.

So here's another Bob Morris. Actually, he's a famous Bob Morris -- the renowned Bob Morris who writes the "Age of Dissonance" column in the New York Times Sunday Styles section, along with occasional features. People have been confusing us for years. I used to write for the New York Times regional newspapers. And we both contribute to some of the same travel and food magazines. A few years back, I even received the Other Bob Morris's 1099 forms from Bon Appetit. What a mess. All I know is that he made a whole lot more money from them than I did.

In any event, the Other Bob Morris kindly showed up for the rum party at Partners & Crime. A good guy, we had some laughs. As it turns out he has a book coming out next year, a memoir of sorts based largely on his relationship with his dad (he wrote a most memorable column about his father for the NYT earlier this year called "Stop Spending My Inheritance.") He told me the title of the upcoming book, but I apologize, I've forgotten it. No worries. All you need to remember is this: Whenever you go into a bookstore and see a book written by Bob Morris, buy it...

Monday, February 26, 2007

EXTRA BONUS! Wall Street Journal video

Among those who dropped by for the rum party at Partners & Crime was Jeffrey Trachtenberg, who covers the publishing industry for the Wall Street Journal. Jeff and a WSJ crew shot a video of the event that you can view right here.

The Dark 'n Stormy Tour, Stop #6 -- New York City

I didn't count heads at Partners & Crime, but here's a way to guesstimate the crowd: We went through five bottles of rum and a case-and-a-half of ginger beer. If you'd like to check out some professional shots of the event, go to Mary Regan's Web site(that's her with the camera.)

Some pals from my long-ago days at the Fort Myers News-Press showed up (Jim Pratt; of the New York Post; Stelvis Dougherty, People magazine and Barack Obama biographer; Frazier Moore, television writer for the AP; and Myra Forsberg, the New York Times) as did my awesome editor Marc Resnick, Partners & Crime co-owner Kiz Reeves and my awesome agent Joe Veltre. Also on hand was Sally Richardson, president and publisher of St. Martin's Press, who managed to keep her Dark 'n Stormy away from Marc Resnick long enough to raise a toast.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dark & Stormy Tour Stop #5 -- Washington, DC

OK, I'm way behind on posting from the road. But between all the much-delayed flights with last week's snowstorm and insane taxi drivers, I'm just glad to be here. I'll catch up over the next few days, but for now --

A stalwart band braved ankle-deep snow to join me at the Border's in Bailey's Crossroads, VA. That's soon-to-be-married Chris and Aubrey, middle front, who will be honeymooning next month in St. John... considering the temps, I'm longing for islands right now...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

And a good time was had by all...

We had ourselves a large time at Palmano's Cafe last Sunday. Kool Vibes Reggae Band, Dark 'n Stormies by the dozen and a lively gathering of good people.

Now it's northward into the ice storm. Next stop: Borders, Bailey's Crossroads, VA....

Monday, February 12, 2007

Darky 'N Stormy Tour Stop #3: Borders, Winter Park

So why the apron? Because I fried up a big batch of conch fritters at Borders in Winter Park. And lots of folks stopped by to enjoy them, including, from left to right, high-powered attorney Nadia (a former student of mine at Trinity Preparatory School); Steve, a former Leesburg pal visiting from Tupelo, MS; and Michael, whose Christmas shopping was stymied when BERMUDA SCHWARTZ didn't come out until February, but who bought lots o' copies anyway.

If you didn't make it, not to worry. Drop by Borders in Winter Park any time throughout the next month or so and I can guarantee it will still smell like conch fritters.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Dark 'n Stormy Tour, Stop #2: Inkwood Books

We had ourselves a lively and rather high-minded gathering at wonderful Inkwood Books, in Tampa. Instead of me just sitting there talking about "The Making of Bermuda Schwartz" or telling Caribbean tales, the conversation turned to such topics as increasingly shorter attention spans and how that effects writing , the making of a book cover, the demise of book editors who actually edit (except for Marc Resnick, of St. Martin's, of course) and an assortment of far-ranging topics.

Must be something in Gosling's Rum that fuels conviviality.

In addition to some other folks who cut out before we took the photo, I was joined by an old fishing buddy, a debonair restaurant critic, my cousin Helene, the man behind the world-famous Skipper's Smokehouse, several new friends (one them named LaDonna, like the place where Zack Chasteen lives), a fourth-grade teacher, a famous chef, a writer for a local newspaper and two rogue author pals, Jim Sheehan, second from the left (his "Mayor of Lexington Avenue" just came out this in mass market p-back) and, next to Jim, Tom Corcoran, author of the Alex Rutledge/Key West mysteries, bartender to Jimmy Buffett and one prince of a guy.

A good time, as they say, was had by all...but man, it was a long drive back to O-do on I-4.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Over at Crime Fiction Dossier, the inimitable David Montgomery is offering a free copy of BERMUDA SCHWARTZ to some lucky visitor. No heavy lifting or thinking is required. All you have to do is send David an email, per the instructions, and he'll be picking the winning name from a hat, or a bowl, or a wastebasket, or something. So get over there. And look for MORE FREE STUFF here soon...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Dark 'n Stormy Tour, Stop #1: Urban Think!

The only downside to Tuesday night's Publication Day party at Urban Think!, in downtown Orlando, was that I got so wrapped up talking to people that I forgot to take a bunch of photos. Here's me with Orlando author Tom Cavanagh (HEAD GAMES) pimping each other's books. Meanwhile, most everyone else was gathered around the bar where three quarts of Gosling's Rum was demolished in a most successful mission to introduce O-do to the national cocktail of Bermuda.

Oh yeah, Urban Think's stock of BERMUDA SCHWARTZ was also demolished, proving that good rum and good books make delightful bedfellows.

Next stop: Thursday, Feb. 8; 6:30 p.m. at Inkwood Booksin Tampa.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Sun shines on Schwartz

The first review of BERMUDA SCHWARTZ is in (aside from the good ones in Publisher's Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus.) Writing in the Baltimore Sun, the goddess of mystery reviewers, Sarah Weinman says: "Comic crime novels are exceedingly difficult to pull off, especially as the inevitable Leonard/Hiaasen comparisons set up expectations that disappoint -- and that's before reader tastes about humor kick in. But Morris gets things very right in his third novel, which marks the return of football hero-turned-adventurer Zach Chasteen."

You can read the whole review by going back and clicking on the Baltimore Sun thingie. And I know it's wrong for authors to grovel and suck-up to reviewers by calling them goddesses and such, but Sarah is, after all, brilliant, and I, after all, am shameless.

At long last ... pub day!

Man, it feels like I've been waiting forever for BERMUDA SCHWARTZ to come out. Finished writing it last June, got the advance copies in August, and since then it has been wait, wait, wait. But now it's official. Today is Publication Day! And for the next coupla months I'll be taking my show on the road, vying for book sales and happy to take whatever crumbs the likes of James Patterson, Janet Evanovich and JK Rowling might leave me.

I'll be posting regular dispatches from the road here, so check back often to see how things are going in DC, NYC, Chicago and, oh, Wetumpka, AL. Wetumpka. Never been there. Can't wait to see if it's as glorious as it sounds.

But first, one housekeeping matter: I am proud to announce the winner of our "Name the Librarians Contest." We were in search of a collective noun that best described a group of librarians and while many of the entries came close: "A shush of librarians," "a stack of librarians," "a lush of librarians" (according to the librarian who sent that in, librarians really like to drink -- who knew?), the winning entry came from (cue drum roll, please):

Jane Peterson, Seminole County (FL) Library System, who suggested: A volume of librarians.

I like that, I like that a lot. And since I'm the judge, Jane wins a free copy of BERMUDA SCHWARTZ.

Now, the rest of you -- go out and buy them.